Venomous vs. Poisonous

Sciency Words MATH

Sciency Words is a special series here on Planet Pailly where we take a look at new and interesting scientific terms to help us all expand our scientific vocabularies together. Today’s word is words are:

VENOMOUS AND POISONOUS

Since I was away on vacation last week and missed my regular Sciency Words post, today you get two words. I’m sure you already know the terms “venomous” and “poisonous,” but do you know the distinction between them?

Both terms involve toxic substances that could make you sick or potentially kill you. With both terms, these substances originate from animals. The distinction comes from how these animals deliver their venom/poison.

Venomous animals inject their venom by means of, for example, sharp, nasty fangs; whereas poisonous animals secrete their poison by other means, perhaps oozing it on their skin as a self defense mechanism. In short, if an animal bites you and you get sick, the animal was venomous. If you bite, touch, or lick an animal and get sick, the animal was poisonous.

Answer: both will lose.

Answer: both will lose.

During my vacation, as I trudged through the forests of Georgia, encountering many a spider and snake, I became quite concerned. Not because of the animals themselves but because I was worried about using the wrong words to describe them. Next time I stumble upon venomous and/or poisonous animals in the wilderness, I’ll feel much better prepared, now that I know which adjective is which.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: